Fred Parker Biography

Fred Parker




Photographer and painter Fred Parker was born in Compton, California in 1938. By the time he began pursuing art in the early 1960s he had already been an Army surgical technician, a member of the Peace Corps in Germany, and had appeared in several productions on stage and television as a dancer. In 1961, while still in the Army, he enrolled in a painting class at San Francisco State College's downtown Extension Center. He remained in San Francisco and earned his BA from San Francisco State College in 1964 and an MA from the University of California, Davis in 1966.


Parker is known for his multi-media pieces using both photography and painting, layering color on black and white cliché-verre prints. To support himself through school he took a job as an art installer and subsequently became involved with art curation. By the late 1960s he regularly organized art shows in Davis and the Bay Area, becoming the director of the Memorial Union Art Gallery at Davis in 1966. Before long Parker had taken up art curation as a secondary career pursuit.


In 1968 he was accepted as an intern at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. While there he worked with photographers Nathan Lyons, Aaron Siskind, Jerry Uelsmann, Peter Bunnell and others. This inspired several new shows at Davis, and soon his career took him to Pasadena, Milwaukee, Santa Barbara, and eventually to Sonoma State University in California, where he settled in 1980, in the county of Sonoma. Meanwhile, he continued to hold solo shows of his work, including at the Davis Art Center, in Davis; Art Guild Gallery, Eureka, CA; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA; and Muchnic Gallery, KS, among others.


Parker lives and works in Kenwood, California, and is represented by various galleries in the region.